The contrast between Labour and National is clear | The Jackal

21 Jul 2017

The contrast between Labour and National is clear

With both leaders being equally wooden, the 2017 election looks set to be contested on policy and not just personality, which is a good thing.

There’s no question that New Zealand could do better... with the right levers in place our once great country could start to recover both socially and economically from the last global recession and the neoliberal dogma that has infected politics for far too long.

Obviously National will claim that we already have recovered, but all they’ve really done is created a false economy based on high immigration and inflation that has badly impacted middle and low income New Zealanders, who have been devalued in the current unsustainable system.

The real question will be if enough voter’s have seen and care about the social disintegration that has occurred under the current government? To highlight the damage, I’ve been asking the National party a few questions on Twitter about their once promised brighter future:

Of course none of the National MPs who frequent Twitter bothered to respond. They would prefer to pretend everything is fine based on some arbitrary numbers about the economy.

With National burying their heads in the sand by proposing more trickle down economics with tax cuts for the already wealthy, it’s good to see some coverage about Labour’s alternative budget in the media that shows they resolutely stand with the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden in New Zealand.

Today, Stuff reported:

Editorial: Clear fiscal choices are on offer 
Tax cut or social spend? Which is affordable? And if both are, which choice is better for New Zealand in the long run?

As political journalist Vernon Small says, Labour's recently released draft budget is relatively careful and even middle of the road. Only a "Right-wing warrior" could call it reckless. That warrior turned out to be Act leader David Seymour who quickly dubbed the Labour plan economically irresponsible. He was joined by National's Steven Joyce who attacked it as tax and spend.

But others have shown it is entirely manageable. Labour plan to spend an extra $17 billion over four years without going into deficit. Nearly half will come from cancelling the proposed tax cuts that National has dangled before voters. That gives Labour an extra $8.3b to play with, according to an analysis by Newsroom financial commentator Bernard Hickey.

One thing the media is currently getting wrong with the budget debate is that Labour is still proposing tax cuts for people on middle and low incomes… they just aren’t proposing to give the lions share to people who don’t need it.